India news February 8, 2013

Ishant heads for Melbourne to sort ankle problem

ESPNcricinfo staff

India fast bowler Ishant Sharma is set to consult a specialist in Melbourne as a "precautionary measure" after experiencing pain in his left ankle, on which he had surgery in early 2012. This could be a blow to India's bowling plans ahead of the home Test series against Australia, which begins in less than a fortnight.

On Friday evening, Ishant tweeted that he was fit. "Once again I would like to confirm that I m not injured. Jus going Aus to get my insoles," he said.*

Ishant had sustained a ligament injury to his left ankle during India's tour of England in August 2011, but underwent the required operation in March 2012, after returning from the tour of Australia. He was out of competitive cricket till August, when he was picked for the home Test series against New Zealand, but did not make the playing XI. He was finally back in action for India in the Tests against England in December, and played the limited-overs series that followed too, against Pakistan and then England. Following the England ODIs, Ishant once again felt discomfort in his ankle.

India's attack for the Australia series is already in some trouble. Zaheer Khan, their most experienced seamer, was dropped on form for the final Test against England and, more recently, missed the final few matches of the Ranji Trophy with a calf strain and is yet to begin bowling again. Their other preferred quick option of late, Umesh Yadav, played the first Test of the England series before sustaining with a serious back injury.

Varun Aaron, meanwhile, will travel to London to get advice on treatment of his back problem. "I will be going there next week, where I will be meeting a couple of doctors and seeking their advice. They will review the state of fitness of my back and based on that I will take a call on when I should begin bowling," Aaron told theIndian Express. "I have been bowling on and off but haven't bowled flat out. After this consultation I will get a clear picture of my body."

Aaron, who last played for India in late 2011, is recovering from a stress fracture of the back. After recuperating for a few months, he had returned to competitive cricket during the 2012 IPL, where he played eight games for his franchise, Delhi Daredevils. However, he then suffered a recurrence of the injury. He has a history of back trouble, having suffered two stress fractures soon after he made his Ranji Trophy debut for Jharkhand in the 2008-09 season.

* February 8 2.40pm GMT This story has been updated with Ishant's tweet

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on February 11, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    How bad is Umesh's back spasm that we don't hear of him anymore? What's going on with him? Just ignore this over-hyped Ishant, a one-spell wonder.

  • Muhammad on February 8, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @anilkp: This "blind man's" stone hits the fruit every time when the opposition is Indian bowling. We saw that in the past in India's tour of Australia in both tests and ODIs and later in world t20. Hughes has recently performed quite good against Sri Lankan bowling which is much better than their Indian counterpart and that too in conditions which supported bowling. What to speak of Clarke. "A bit here-and-there" Watson is back in form again and he has been consistently exceptional against India.

    Indian batting is so pathetic these days that Australian bowlers will keep on restricting them to low totals. Therefore, it will not be necessary for all of the Aussie batsmen to score big. Thats why I am predicting 4-0.

  • Anil on February 8, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    @mzm149: This Aussie team cannot inflict a 4-0 on anyone--let alone on India in India. Your Warner is like a blind man hurling a stone at a mango tree; he gets a fruit if the stone hits it. If not, he is dry as a straw. You do not have Huss any longer; we have seen Hughes already. Wade and Khawaja--who? It is the lone Clarcke (provided his back stays trouble-free) and a bit here-and-there Watson. No matter how toothless they were against the Poms, our spinners will be a handful for your new batters. But, it will boil down to the contest between two mediocre teams. Yes, mediocre. This Aussie team, at least in India, is no better. Frankly speaking, it will be tough to follow four long and boring Tests. There will be no dramatic wins or losses, they will just drag along.

  • Anil on February 8, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    Why does the BCCI not think seriously about grooming the players? It must invest in the future and enforce strict, judicious guidelines for players. The bowlers get injured after just a couple games. What is this nonsense? The Aussie quicks break down as quickly too, but they pick buckets of wickets for every outing and breakdown, so it doesn't really matter. On the other hand, our Indian quicks shower 4s and 6s for a couple games and break down, so we dont have options beyond them. Seems like Cretaceous era that players like Kapil Dev kept bowling for decades without breaking down. Ishant, Sreesanth, Aaron, Zaheer...none of these players can blame on too much of cricket; they have hardly played any. So, the reason is purely poor fitness. A simple regimen of diet and excercise should be able to keep these guys fit. The problem is, when the incoming money is easy, it is tough to stay away from tasty food or to get close to sweating gyms. It is all in the mindset.

  • Muhammad on February 8, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Indian bowlers will get good spanking from Clarke, Watson, Warner and Hughes. 4-0 in my opinion in favor of Australia.

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    He shouldn't be even considered for selection , me must persist with Bhuvneshwar,Shami ahmed..

  • Nithin on February 8, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    bhubaneswar should be playing the tests irrespective of Ishant's fitness. In a way we are lucky since we don't have a series before South africa one where we will feel the need for fast bowlers.

  • Vincent on February 8, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Sree should be considered. Early swing and if he is in control can have an impact for India. Worth the chance. Swing will play a great part in Indian conditions. Better to have at least once experienced bowler that is if Zak is not around. Sree is in better fitness than Zak and more aggessive.

  • Aditya on February 8, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Why do Indian players still need to go outside India for treatment - dont we have good facilities out here yet?! Many Europeans come to India for affordable and quality medical treatment, wonder when BCCI will learn how to spend money wisely. Secondly, as insisted by Ganguly innumerable times, each player should get his own physical fitness trainer (easily possible considering how much they earn).

  • Shiv on February 8, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    DISCLAIMER: My post only relates to Ishant's performance in Test matches - his performance in ODI's and T20's is not relevant to this post. If Ishant Sharma is unavailable for the Australia series it should be looked at like a blessing in disguise! I don't remember stats but I don't recall him being an effective bowler at all. There are enough and more fast/fast-medium bowlers in the country that - if provided the same long rope as Ishant - will do very well for India in the long run. He may have good performances every now and then but that does not/should not guarantee a permanent place in the India Test team. And Bobbi_143 you nailed it. They "run in hard for the first 3 or 4 overs" because that's the extent of how much they have to "bend their backs" for T20's. I can go on but that will make for a different post/blog.

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